Evaluation of tree forage as a nontraditional feedstuff for small livestock Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/t435gh271

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  • Five experiments were conducted to evaluate tree forage as a feedstuff for small livestock, using the foliage of black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) and hybrid poplar (Populus spp.). In the first trial, rabbits were fed diets containing 40% alfalfa (control), and 10%, 20% and 40% poplar leaves (PL) from untrimmed or uncoppiced growth, and 10% and 20% PL from trimmed or coppiced growth. At the 20% level, crude protein (CP) was better digested for the coppiced PL than for the uncoppiced (p < .05). No significant difference was evident between treatments in the average daily gain (ADG) or feed efficiency, but dry matter (DM) intake increased for all the PL treatments compared to the control (p < .01). In the second experiment, black locust (BL) leaves were treated by various methods in an attempt to counter the effect of tannins. Rabbits were fed diets containing 50% alfalfa (control), 25% alfalfa and 25% black locust meal (BLM) (BLM control), BLM + 1% polyethylene glycol (PEG), BLM + 1% phytase, and BLM + 0.3% L-methionine and 0.3% choline chloride. In general, nutrient utilization and ADG were better for the control than for the BLM treatments. The addition of PEG increased CP digestibility (p < .01) and ADF (p < .03) compared to the BLM control, partially alleviating the reduced nutrient availability. The addition of L-methionine and choline chloride increased ADF digestibility (p < .02). In the third trial, black locust (BL) bark and other tree products were used to study the possible toxic effects of lectins in BL bark. Rabbits were fed diets containing 25% BL bark, oak sawdust, red alder bark, or red alder sawdust (all diets also included 25% alfalfa). A 50% alfalfa diet served as a control. In general, nutrient digestibilities and ADG were higher for the control than the treatments and, also, higher for the BL bark diet than the alder bark diet. The ADG with the BL bark diet was lower than for the alder bark diet (p < .01), which indicated a possible toxic effect of the BL bark. The fourth trial examined the feeding value of poplar leaves for sheep. Sheep were fed diets containing 50% PL or 50% alfalfa. Nutrient digestibilities were lower for the PL diet (p < .01). In the fifth experiment, BL leaves were fed to sheep and goats in order to determine if goats, being browsers instead of grazers like the sheep, are better equipped to tolerate the anti-nutritive effects from BL forage. Sheep and goats were fed diets composed solely of BL leaves or alfalfa (control). Overall, the nutrient digestibilities were higher for alfalfa than for BL leaves, and there was no difference in terms of digestibility between species. Although the leaves of black locust and poplar contain anti-nutritive factors, it was concluded that the trees have potential as multipurpose trees from which the leaves could be harvested as animal fodder, particularly in temperate areas of the developing world.
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